DO LIBRARIES NEED A USER MANIFESTO? Policies that inspire rather than prohibit

February 12, 2014, 6:35 pm

nuspark2Last week was the opening of NuSpark in Blacksburg.  It’s a pre-incubator for startups—I guess that makes it a conception center? Basically people who have business or project ideas can gather and hack at it. Teams can apply for (reserved) workspace but there is also an open commons area for anyone to drop in.


I’m planning to do a full post on their story and philosophy sometime in April. Co-working environments have been a great inspiration to me for library renovations; we can learn by watching groups build ideas. This space is ideal for students and I want to explore that theme a bit further.

This is something that caught my eye:






 User Manifesto

  • Create and innovate
  • Always add value
  • Encourage others to express their thoughts and opinions
  • Actively listen to feedback
  • Hold information of others in confidence
  • Validate ideas with customer input
  • Don’t be afraid to fail and try something different
  • Separate your opinions from customer and market facts
  • Look for opportunities
  • Respect others in the space
  • Respect and contribute to the community space. As a user you share responsibility for the health and success of this user community


This got me thinking about library policies. It seems the only time we talk about them is when there is behavior that we need to prohibit. Obviously we need to keep a sense of order, but where is our documentation that stimulates positive behavior? I like how NuSpark essentially has a user agreement posted on the wall—you can use the space but here is our code.

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